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Cherry Village takes next step in PEAK training program
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Andrea Davidson, Cherry Village dietary manager, offers Leona Werner, Cherry Village resident, a few snack options. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

                Cherry Village Benevolence has graduated to the next level in a specialized training program that emphasizes person-centered care.

            The program is called PEAK, which stands for Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas. It is a joint project of Kansas State University’s Center on Aging and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

            Cherry Village is a non-profit, long-term-care facility in Great Bend that has been involved in the early stages of the program for a couple of years. Recently, it moved up the ladder to PEAK 2.0.

            “Cherry Village has a long history of providing options to people so they have more control over their daily lives,” said Donna Marbut, director of nursing. “But we know we can always learn more and this training continues to be a great resource for us.

            “PEAK is reinforcing what we have been doing over the years, while giving us new ideas on ways to enhance our efforts,” she continued. “There are a few levels after PEAK 2.0, which we plan to participate in.”

            All of the nearly 70 Cherry Village employees have been involved in PEAK to some degree, especially in the areas of nursing, dietary and housekeeping.

            “The training empowers staff to become problem solvers,” Marbut commented. “This helps the nurses and aides, which in turn helps our residents and their families.”

            Marbut noted that many facilities in Kansas choose not to participate in this voluntary program.

            “But we jumped at the chance to become involved,” Marbut said. “PEAK gives us access to so much information. There is a core group at K-State that is invaluable. When we have questions, they have answers.”

            In a culture of person-centered care, Cherry Village residents have such options as when to get up in the morning and go to bed at night, and what they eat and when they eat it.

            Tina Mingenback, assistant administrator, said the staff always tries to accommodate residents’ likes and dislikes.

            “While three meals are served each day at a certain time, we know some residents would rather eat on their own schedules,” Mingenback explained. “If some want to sleep in a little, they can have breakfast when they are ready.

            “The same options apply to other meals and snacks, as well as to their daily routines,” she added. “Cherry Village is their home and they are in charge of many of their activities.”

            PEAK training includes visits to other long-term-care facilities, and discussions and assignments through interactive television.

            Cherry Village, a non-profit facility at 1401 Cherry Lane, opened in 1978; it is managed by a local family.